Better Politics, Better Pizza


First it was Chick-fil-A, whose president disparaged gay marriage in print and on the air, igniting a new battle in the culture war over chicken sandwiches.

Now, Papa John’s chief executive John Schnatter has criticized President Obama’s health-care law and said it will raise costs by 15 to 20 cents a pizza.

The blow-back has been fierce:

“Papa John’s pizza extortion,” ran the headline for a story Wednesday from Salon, a news website.

“Vote for Romney or we’ll raise our prices” was how Daily Kos, a liberal news site, topped its story , which went on to illustrate Mr. Schnatter’s links to the GOP presidential candidate..

Some Twitter users are urging a boycott of the Kentucky-based pizza chain.

Ok, substance first. Schnatter is not threatening anyone. He’s not extorting anyone. He’s simply dealing with reality: if you’re going to mandate health insurance, be prepared to pay more for the things you buy. This is simple mathematics.

Substance the second: Schnatter was making a different point than the one being attributed to him. Check this out:

We’re not supportive of Obamacare, like most businesses in our industry. But our business model and unit economics [are] about as ideal as you can get for a food company to absorb Obamacare…. We have a high ticket average with extremely high frequency of order counts – millions of pizzas per year.

You see what he did there? He pointed out that Papa John’s is one of the companies that will be least affected by Obamacare. Smaller businesses, for whom healthcare costs are proportionally larger, will be hit much harder. This is precisely what I and every other conservative/libertarian commenter have been saying for a while now: Obamacare is a bone to big business. The costs it imposes will be proportionally larger for smaller businesses. Why else do you think Walmart supported this thing?

OK. Substance done. Now rant. Who the fuck cares what Schnatter thinks? He’s not the Pope; he’s just some dude who makes pizza. I go there about once a week because it’s close and cheap and decent. He could be supporting Marxism for all I care. I Don’t. Give. A. Shit. Up until this point, I assumed he was supporting Obama since most businesses like to support incumbents so they don’t, you know, get eaten by regulators. That he’s supporting Romney is interesting in the same sense that a bunion is interesting. But it will have zero impact on my pizza choice, positive or negative.

Update: I am very disappointed with myself that I didn’t say “he could be a fascist anarchist for all I care”.

Comments are closed.

  1. repmom

    How many days left until the election? How many more days of this crap?

    Agggggghhhhhh!!!!!! is right! :(

    I order my pizza based on taste, price, and who delivers in my area. I don’t care who or what the company big wigs’ support, unless it’s just something really horrible.

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  2. Seattle Outcast

    Papa John’s pizza is shit – you get what you pay for, which isn’t a good pizza. On the other hand, Kos is a liar at best of times, and has never been considered a “news site” by anybody at any time. It’s sort of like leaving a bag of doughnuts in the same room with Fatso Moore for an hour and then getting yelled at by him about basic economics and and a Kennedy conspiracy when he eats them all.

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  3. TxAg94

    The guy had to know the shitstorm he was stepping into. For that I applaud him and may, one day when I’m completely desparate, buy a pizza from him. I like a guy with what seem to be balls. On the other hand, he could just be stupid. In that case, good on him for being stupid enough to say what no one else will say.

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  4. balthazar


    Its shit, unless you compare it to Pizza hut or Domino’s, then its great! I know that isnt saying much. To use another analogy, its like conversing with Kimpost, you think it sucks until you talk to CM or Magoo, then you realize what a shitty conversation’s really like!

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  5. repmom

    The guy had to know the shitstorm he was stepping into.

    Maybe he was trying to drum up business. All the conservatives buying his pizza this weekend in support of Romney and protest of Obamacare.

    Right after I replied to this post, I got an email with Papa John’s “specials”. May have to take advantage.

    On second thought, “Nay”.

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